Héroux-Devtek signs letter of agreement to manufacture structural components for new Bell Helicopter 429 program

FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom, July 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Héroux-Devtek Inc. (TSX : HRX) a leading Canadian manufacturer of aerospace and industrial products, today announced that its Aerostructure Division has signed a letter of agreement with Bell Helicopter Textron. This letter of agreement is accompanied by orders to manufacture primary structural components for the new Bell Helicopter 429, such as cabin, cockpit and aft fuselage components and sub-assemblies.

The letter of agreement covers a period up to 2015 and the value of potential orders over that period is currently estimated in stated Canadian currency at about $57 million. In order to qualify for the production of these highly-complex components, Héroux-Devtek's Aerostructure facility in Dorval, Quebec, was accredited as an approved supplier to Bell Helicopter and successfully carried out pre-production parts throughout the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008.

"Héroux-Devtek is pleased to demonstrate its ability and commitment to support Bell Helicopter's new commercial helicopter program. This first agreement with Bell Helicopter for the Aerostructure Division further validates our strategic decision to invest in highly-automated, state-of-the-art equipment to expand our capacity for complex structural components and sub-assemblies," said Gilles Labbé, President and Chief Executive Officer of Héroux-Devtek.

This letter of agreement is in addition to a previously-signed agreement between the Landing Gear Division and Bell Helicopter on the 429 program for flight critical components. This previous agreement included firm commitments totalling $8 million to deliver components until the end of 2011.

"Bell Helicopter is a very important player in the industry and this letter of agreement further strengthens our relationship," further stated Mr. Labbé, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This mandate demonstrates Héroux-Devtek's competitiveness, while further solidifying its reputation. We look forward to performing the high-value-added work on this new strategic program and to broadening the scope of our service and product offering to Bell Helicopter."

Jacques St-Laurent, President, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, emphasized: "We value suppliers and partners on their abilities to deliver quality parts, on time and at a competitive price. We have found such a supplier with Héroux-Devtek."

Mary Simmerman, Senior Vice-President Supply Chain Management for Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. added: "Bell Helicopter is highly confident of Héroux-Devtek's specialized abilities and is tasking them with the fabrication of key structural and dynamic components for our newest commercial helicopter the Bell 429 Global Ranger."

About Héroux-Devtek

Héroux-Devtek (TSX: HRX), a Canadian company, serves two main market segments: Aerospace and Industrial Products, specializing in the design, development, manufacture and repair of related systems and components. Héroux-Devtek supplies both the commercial and military sectors of the Aerospace segment with landing gear systems (including spare parts, repair and overhaul services) and airframe structural components. The Company also supplies the industrial segment with large components for power generation equipment and precision components for other industrial applications. Approximately 70% of the Company's sales are outside Canada, mainly in the United States. The Company's head office is located in Longueuil, Québec with facilities in the Greater Montreal area (Longueuil, Dorval, Laval and Rivière-des-Prairies); Kitchener and Toronto, Ontario; Arlington, Texas and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the Company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.

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